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  • Writer's pictureSophia Kamveris, MS, RDN

Healthy Eating. One Bite at a Time.


Not sure what to do with that mushy avocado that has been rolling around your vegetable bin for awhile now? Smashing it up and spreading on toast is a  popular menu item, but a lot of people find avocados have a bland taste and not a lot of texture.


Legumes (garbanzo, kidney, black, navy, white, Lima, pinto, lentils, edamame, and split peas), on the other hand, have a lot of texture but many are bothered by the tummy aches they are known to cause. You can blame that on biology; our bodies are missing the digestive enzyme to break down the carbohydrate (sugar) in beans. To increase tolerance, soak dry beans overnight or drain (and rinse) the canned ones. Eating smaller portions and gradually increasing your intake also helps your body adjust to efficiently digesting them.


Avocados are heart-healthy fruits that are high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA). Research shows that MUFA’s help to improve the good cholesterol commonly known as HDLs. They also help to stabilize blood sugars in Type 2 diabetes. A medium avocado has about 250 calories and provides vital nutrients that include fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin C and K, along with nutrients that benefit eye health—the carotenoids.


Legumes (aka beans) are a staple in many cultures and in healthy diets. They are easy to store and are inexpensive when compared to perishable sources of protein. Beans are rich in protein, B vitamins, iron, and fiber. Fiber also has heart-health benefits to help lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, as well as controlling blood sugar levels. It is also a key player in intestinal heath—not only does it maintain daily bowel regularity, but studies have also found that a high-fiber diet can lower the risk of colorectal cancer. High-fiber foods also fill you up more so you're likely to eat less volume and stay satisfied longer; hence helping with weight loss goals. 


Since both of these foods are so good for you, try combining them to make a quick (and yummy!) meal selection. I recently discovered this meal idea when I set out to incorporate some vegetarian options to my lunches this past week. You can add your own magic culinary touches to achieve the taste you like. 


Chickpea, Avocado, and Feta Spread 

(Makes one serving) 


1/2* ripe avocado, peeled

2 Tbl canned chickpeas (rinse and drain)

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled

Lime or lemon juice to taste

Salt and pepper to taste


*If you are only using one half, I recommend keeping the pit in place. Avocado flesh turns brown when exposed to air (oxygen). Wrap snugly in waxed paper.


Directions: Before you cut an avocado, wash it first. Slice, remove the peel, and smash it up with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Sneak a taste and season to your liking. Toast a piece of whole grain bread. I use sourdough for its extra crunch and because its starter/fermentation process helps improve gut health. Spread and enjoy!



In Good Health,

Sophie



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